Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

RaspberryMuffins

For some reason this week, the raspberries in the grocery store were calling my name. I wanted to make something relatively quick and easy, so I decided on these muffins, and boy were they worth it!  With the sweetness of the cake and chocolate, combined with the slightly tart bite of the raspberries, I could have sat and eaten all of them in one go!

This recipe came from a church cookbook that Ben’s dad gave me for Christmas. I find that church cookbooks are often some of the best, because the recipes are truly homemade and not perfected in some professional kitchen. Plus, the money from sales goes to a good cause, rather than someone’s pocket. ūüôā

The key to making these muffins is to gently fold in the raspberries by hand at the last minute before pouring into your cupcake tin. That way, the raspberries don’t burst open and turn the whole batter pink.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150 grams sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 225 milliliters milk
  • 50 grams butter, melted
  • 100 grams raspberries
  • 75 grams white chocolate chips

Directions

1.¬†Preheat your oven to 400¬įF/200¬įC. Prepare your muffin tin by lining it with baking cases.

2. Sift together the flour and baking poder into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, and melted butter. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and stir together, then add in the chocolate chips. Finally, gently fold in the raspberries, trying to avoid breaking them open as much as possible.

4. Divide the batter amongst the baking cases, filling each one about 2/3 full. Bake for 30 minutes until they rise above the cases and just start to turn golden on top.

 

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Lemon Griestorte

 

Today has been a very long day. Ben left to go to a conference in Poland until Wednesday, so he was out the door before 6 a.m. to catch his flight. Unfortunately for me, I’m one of those people that once I’m awake, I’m awake. So I’ve pretty much been awake since about 5 a.m. ¬†When I decided to actually roll out of bed 2 hours later, I was greeted by the most enormous spider I have ever seen!!!

I am absolutely terrified of spiders, so I found myself frozen in the doorway, facing off against this creature who was preventing me from entering my bathroom. ¬† Normally Ben comes to my rescue (as he did last night when he went after another giant spider that had crawled under our bed), but he’d left hours ago and I was left to fend for myself. So what else could I do but start throwing shoes at it? It was the most logical solution. ¬†Four tosses later, and the sucker was squished under one of Ben’s boat shoes, which is where he will stay until someone braver (i.e. Mr Moxey) comes home to dispose of the evidence.

I have no idea where all these spiders are coming from all of a sudden, but hopefully that will be the last one until at least Wednesday.

Anyways, back to business. This week on the Bake Off, the challengers made flourless cakes, or tortes. Originally I had planned to make a chocolate one, but I’m afraid that chocolate is the absolute last ingredient I want to have in the house at the moment. I spent all of Thursday touring around London visiting chocolate shops, gelaterias, and patisseries for a project at work and ended up getting¬†really sick Thursday night and felt like crap most of Friday from eating so much rich, dark chocolate. So yeah, taking a break from that.

So to find a recipe for Plan B, I went to the Bake Off authority herself, miss Merry Berry. This recipe is from her Baking Bible, and uses whipped cream and lemon curd to make a delectable filling.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3 large eggs, separated (you’ll need both the whites and yolks!)
  • 100 grams sugar
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 50 grams fine semolina
  • 15 grams ground almonds
For the filling:
  • 300 ml whipping cream
  • 8 Tablespoons lemon curd
  • fresh raspberries
  • icing sugar

Directions

1.¬†Preheat oven to 350¬į F (approx 175¬įC). Grease a deep round cake tin and line both the bottom and sides with baking paper. (I don’t have a deep tin, so I used 2 8-inch tins and halved the baking time. The layers were really thin, but it worked out alright.)

2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they are pale and have a light texture. Add the lemon juice and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens. Fold in the lemon zest, followed by the semolina and ground almonds.

3.¬†In a separate bowl (preferably with an electric mixer), whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then fold into the egg yolk mixture until it’s evenly blended. Gently pour into your prepared baking tin.

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until it turns a pale golden brown (I did mine for 13 minutes in the two tins). Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack to peel off the baking paper and cool completely. When cool, cut the cake in half horizontally.

5.¬†Whisk the cream until it thickens and holds its shape, then fold in the lemon curd until it’s evenly blended. Spread half of this onto the bottom layer of your cake, then place a few raspberries around the cake. Add the second layer, then top with the rest of the whipped cream mixture.

6. Add a ring of fresh raspberries around the top, then dust with icing sugar to finish it off.

Summer Fruits Tart

Another week and another episode of the Great British Bake Off. This week as a bit more entertaining as the contestants attempted to flip tarte tatins out of their pans, and put a lattice onto treacle tarts. But I was most excited about the patisserie-style fruit tarts they made for the showstopper challenge.

Every time I pass a patisserie with the windows filled with shiny fruit-covered cakes and pies, my mouth literally starts watering. This tart is super simple to make, it’s just a creme patisserie with fruit on top. The most difficult part for me was not eating all of the fruit before I could put it on top of the cream.

Unfortunately, this tart was a bit to delicate to make the hour-plus trek on the rush-hour Tube to work, so Ben and I had to undertake the incredible difficult task of enjoying this bake all by ourselves. And boy was it lovely! The cream and fruit was so refreshing!

If you’re looking to impress some friends at a get-together without much effort, this would definitely be my recommendation

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 25 grams flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 350 ml milk
  • a mix of summer fruits, in this case, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
  • 4 Tablespoons raspberry jam
  • approximately 1 teaspoon water

Directions

1.¬†Preheat your oven to 350¬įF (175¬įC). Line your pie dish (preferably one with a removable bottom, it’ll make your life easier) with the shortcrust pastry, then gently prick the base and sides with a fork. Lay a sheet of baking paper over your pastry, then fill with baking beans and place in the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes until it just starts to turn golden. Once finished, remove and let it cool completely.

2. Next, make the creme patisserie. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until they turn light and creamy, then stir in the flour.

3. Bring the milk just to a boil. While continuously whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour in the heated milk. Mix together, then return to the pan and return to the burner on a medium-low heat until it just starts to bubble. Begin stirring and cook for 2 minutes while stirring to allow the mixture to thicken. Remove from the heat, then add in the vanilla.

4.¬†Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic to touch the top of the creme so that you don’t have a skin forming on top. Allow the creme patisserie cool completely in the fridge. Once cool, spoon the creme patisserie into your baked pastry base and smooth over evenly.

5.¬†Arrange the fruit in any pattern you like on the top of the tart. To create the shiny glaze, place the raspberry jam into a small pan and add a few drops (about 1 teaspoon) of water. Stir continuously until the jam melts, then brush the glaze over the top of each piece of fruit.¬†And that’s it!